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Le Silo - 8.8 CD (album) cover

8.8

Le Silo

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a highly enjoyable slice of mainly instrumental contemporary Japanese prog. Pianist and main composer Miyako Kanazawa also plays in the Zeuhl band Koenjihyakkei with Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins), who produced this album and also appears as guest vocalist, and there's a discernible Yoshida influence in the stop/start arrangements and abruptly shifting time signatures, but Le Silo have their own sound and agenda. Perhaps the best description is on Chris Cutler's ReR website, which refers to this album as post prog.

The instrumental palette is quite basic - piano, electric guitar and drums with occasional vocal interludes - but the trio are sufficiently accomplished musicians to sound like a much bigger ensemble. The absence of bass isn't generally that noticeable - Miyako executes some dazzling left hand runs when the guitar takes the lead, while the drummer has the jazz player's knack of keeping the pulse of a piece beating without ever explicitly stating the rhythm, and fills in the gaps with some deft fills on the tom toms. The guitar sound is generally fuzzy, although the tone and phrasing occasionally recall Phil Miller in the glory days of the Canterbury sound, and this gives the album a hard rocking edge which acts as a reminder of the band's roots in the Japanese punk/hardcore scene. The album was recorded in a single day (the recording date was the 8th of August, which is where the title came from) and there are no obvious overdubs, except perhaps some of the vocals; from the sound of it, most of the tracks were first or second takes performed live in the studio.

Not everything on the album comes off perfectly, and the 60 minute playing time could perhaps have been trimmed a little to a leaner, harder 50 - 55 minutes, but this is a minor quibble. The overall standard of the writing and playing is extremely high, and most listeners will be amazed at the imagination, skill and precision in evidence here. Strongly recommended.

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Send comments to Syzygy (BETA) | Report this review (#107626)
Posted Monday, January 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Avant Garde trio Le Silo arrived in 2004 with '8.8' and revealed a phenom of a band, supporting the mounting evidence that Japan has not only fully arrived as a progressive player but is at the forefront of what Prog does best; taking a path through underexplored territory. Painfully complex and generating a constant flow of top-notch dissonance and steep angles, Miyako Kanazawa's piano mastery, Michiaki Suganuma's fierce skins and Yoshiharu Izutsu's screeching guitar somehow bring chaos together with order in a most East meets West way. Precise flurries, spontaneous eruptions and plenty of magic, all on hand here.

Suganuma's cowbell signals the opener 'Soleil', a dizzying intro to these three maestros' music which will either immediately excite or alienate you to this extraordinary band-- beautiful, silky 20th Century classical rubs elbows with Leonard Berstein, George Gershwin, and some madman rock fusion. It gives way to 'Enormous Trees With the Holy Spirit', a marvel of timing and arrangement. 'Oseaux' is even more challenging with headsplitting direction changes and intense free-mania. 'The Doctor's Helicopter' is dramatic and recalls Keith Emerson's pomp with Rachmaninoff's class. In fact, all the cuts on this album are brilliant examples of what these artists are doing and is yet another jewel in the Rising Sun's prog crown. One of the best records of 2004.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#126358)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP
Moderator / Psych Team
4 stars As Yosuke Yama[&*!#]a, one of famous Japanese pianists, has said, please let me say 'Damn who's the gang!?' Oh, don't misunderstand...I'm so glad to meet the gang LE SILO. :-)

Like as a toy box - Le Soleil is absolutely a masterpiece. Three soundmasters can throw various toys up toward us listeners. My first listening to this song could make me shiver with amazing. Indeed Miyako's dancing piano, Michiaki's jazzy and flexible drums, and Yoshiharu's sharp and straight guitar sounds are all terrific. We have no suspicion they should be skilled and talented. However, at least for me, the most worthiest gems to praise of all should be LE SILO's adventurous mind and the spirit of inquiry. Through the whole album, heavy beats and waves with piano, guitar and drum sounds they spun out in quick succession. Well it doesn't mean their sounds be only heavy and avantgarde. Trust me but the sounds can remind me Red by KING CRIMSON. Furthermore, KC in the second period should have needed heavy rhythm sections by Bill and John, but LE SILO can play without bass sounds! Because Miyako's piano can play the role of rhythm sections with bass and drums, I consider. Exactly her piano is full of bold adventure. And surprisingly her voice melting in their songs is very pretty and mischievous, but so strong and impressive into my bone and marrow. LE SILO can fly not only in a local area or a countryside but all over the progressive world.

Extremely fresh, freaky, selfish and crazy music 8.8 can mosh on your turntable!

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Send comments to DamoXt7942 (BETA) | Report this review (#218777)
Posted Friday, May 29, 2009 | Review Permalink

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